MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: +3

Carly Schroeder, Elisabeth Shue, Dermot Mulroney. Sports drama. Written by Lisa Marie Petersen, Karen Janszen. Directed by Davis Guggenheim.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Set in 1978, Gracie is an inspirational film about a teenage girl who overcomes the loss of her brother and fights the odds to achieve her dream of playing competitive soccer at a time when girls soccer did not exist. Based on true events from the lives of the Shue family (producer and co-star Andrew Shue, Academy Award-nominated actress Elisabeth Shue, the film is directed by Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth), who happens to be part of the family, being married to Elisabeth Shue.

Fifteen-year-old Gracie Bowen (Carly Schroeder) is the only girl in the family of three brothers. Their family life revolves almost entirely around soccer: her father (Dermot Mulroney) and brothers are obsessed with the sport, practicing in the backyards makeshift field every day from morning til night. Tragedy unexpectedly strikes when Gracies older brother Johnny (Jesse Lee Soffer), star of the high school varsity soccer team and Gracies only protector, is killed in a car accident. Struggling with grief over her familys loss, Gracie decides to fill the void left on her brothers team by petitioning the school board to allow her to play on the boys team in his place. Her father, a former soccer star himself, tries to prove to Gracie that she is not tough enough or talented enough to play with boys. Her mother, Lindsey Bowen (Elisabeth Shue), already an outsider in the sports-obsessed family, is no help either. Undeterred, Gracie proves herself and manages to bring her family together in the face of their tragedy.

PREVIEW REVIEW: There have been several female celebrities of late in trouble with the law and seemingly lost emotionally. My theory, for what its worth, is that if a young girl has a supportive, healthy relationship with her dad, she wont be looking for love and acknowledgement in all the wrong places. This movie points that out. The leads father, more comfortable with his sons, doesnt know how to talk to or show affection for his daughter. And when her beloved older brother dies, she feels adrift. So, the movie is about more than a girl wanting to play a mans sport. Its about fathers and daughters. The film has a lot to say and it handles the subject not with much subtlety, but certainly with sincerity.

The only trouble for me is that I dont get soccer, period. Let alone why a girl would want to play it. I guess Id have a difficult time sending my little girl out to play a sport I knew would injure her. Im afraid Id have been one of the bad guys, Id have said no. But, as I said, the film isnt really about this sport, but about communicating your love for your child.

Carly Schroeder (Firewall, Prey) shows spunk and determination and though Im not an expert, her ability with a soccer ball seems genuine. The pacing is good, but the filming of the actual big game is less than convincing. Its not a great sports film, but the filmmakers have made a solid goal with its message.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Considering this is a film concerning male-dominated teenage sports, the filmmaker avoids crude language usually associated with the genre.

Obscene Language: Three or four uses of the s-word and six or more expletives (damns and hells), as well as a few other minor crudities, but mostly the film avoids harsh language.

Profanity: I caught no misuse of Gods name or Christs.

Violence: Some soccer-related injuries, with teammates knocking Gracie to the ground, once bloodying her nose. We learn of the son dying in a car crash, but the scene is not depicted. Blood: Gracie receives a bloody nose.

Sex: At odds with her parents, Gracie looks for attention by dressing provocatively, sneaking out and breaking as many rules as she can, including stealing, smoking and nearly having sex with a boy she has a crush on.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: A couple of sexual discussions, but the filmmakers are not attempting to be exploitive, but to send a message that a child will break the rules when the rules are not accompanied by a parents love.

Drugs: Gracie is seen smoking in one scene.

Other: Though there is no price paid for stealing, it is implied that this is a road the lead does not travel once she feels her fathers love.

Running Time: 92 minutes
Intended Audience: Family

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